VETERAN TRICKLE EARNS FOURTH-PLACE FINISH
By JOHN ERZAR; Times Leader Sports Writer
Monday, May 20, 1996 Page:
NAZARETH -- Dick Trickle knew it would take time to get his Dura-Lube
Chevrolet to where he wanted it. Some minor adjustments nearly brought the
Winston Cup veteran to the head of the NASCAR Busch Series CoreStates/Meridian
Advantage 200 Sunday afternoon at Nazareth Speedway.
Trickle, who didn't practice or qualify the car for the event, worked from
the rear of the 42-car field to take a fourth place, his best finish this
The Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., native made a final attempt for third with two
laps left, trying to dip under Jeff Green on the frontstretch.
Still, it was quite a finish considering the adverse conditions he had to
"What happened was that Tom Peck came in and practiced and qualify the
car," said Trickle, who could do neither since he was involved in the Winston
Select at Charlotte Saturday night. "He told me that he thought it was going
to be a little tight.
"Sure enough, it was."
That didn't stop Trickle, who had to drop to the rear of the field for the
start of the race since he didn't qualify the car. Peck had qualified the car
29th, and spent the afternoon spotting for Trickle. He secured his
fourth-place finish by passing Jason Keller on lap 183.
The tightness nearly cost Trickle early. By lap 15 of the 200-lap race,
leader David Green was bearing down on the 54-year-old veteran, Two laps
later, Green was on the bumper of Trickle when Elliott Sadler hit the turn two
wall, bringing out the first of 10 caution periods.
That allowed Trickle to make a pit stop, make a chasis adjustment, but more
importantly, stay on the lead lap.
"We came in a couple times in the early part of the race and kept going to
the rear just to get the car in a rythmn," Trickle said.
Still, Trickle fell a lap behind about a quarter way through the race, but
quickly got back on the lead lap.
The fourth caution on lap 125 collected then third-place Hermie Sadler,
moving Trickle to eight.
"I liked it because it tightened up the field," Trickle said. "My car was
better during green, so it was a trade off."
Trickle demonstrated that during a caution-free period from lap 143 to 173.
After failing back to ninth, he picked off Chad Little for eighth, then two
laps later, overtook Larry Pearson for seventh.
Trickle then got past Todd Bodine and Kevin Lapage, moving to fifth before
a spin by Toshio Suzuki brought out the afternoon's ninth caution.
* * *
NORTHERN EXPOSURE: Seven Busch Series North Division drivers raced
Saturday, and only one, Mike Stefanik, finished on the lead lap. Stefanik, who
qualified 16th, finished 14th.
Mike Olson was the only other one to be around at the end of the race,
finishing 21st and a lap down.
Accidents ended the day early for Tom Boules (28th), Kelly Moore (31st),
Dale Shaw (39th), and Ted Christopher (41st). Jamie Aube retired for the day
after 93 laps due to handling problems and finished 39th.
* * *
LITTLE PROBLEM: Chad Little ran as high as fourth until handling problems
forced him to settle for an 11th-place finish.
"Our car was too tight at the start of the race and, although we loosened
it up some during the pit stop, it was still hard to turn coming out of the
corners," said Little, who drives for a team owned by St. Louis Rams
quarterback Mark Rypien.
Little wasn't the only driver who suffered back luck.
Mike McLaughlin was running third when a flat tire on lap 94 forced him to
pit. The flat also caused suspension problems and McLaughlin had to settle for
a 29th-place finish.
"We had a good car, but no results," McLaughlin said. "The tire blew -- I
don't know if I ran over something or not -- and we had to pit under green.
"We caught a break when the yellow came out right after that and we thought
we were set, but then the sway bar broke."
Hermie Sadler also ran in the top four for most of the day until getting
involved in a crash on lap 124. He finished 30th.
"We were taking our time working our way to the front, and now we've got
nothing to show for it," Sadler said. "I try to show respect for other drivers
when I'm not running good. Unfortunately, not everybody feels the same way."
Jeff Fuller, last season's Busch rookie of the year, continued to struggle.
Engine problems sidelined Fuller after 26 laps. Through nine races, Fuller has
finished 24th or worst six times.
* * *
ROUGH DEBUT: Toshio Suzuki, of Saitama, Japan, made his first-ever start in
the Busch Series, and ended up at Easton Hospital with a head injury after a
crash on lap 171.
Suzuki, a former winner of the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, spun and ripped
off the left front tire on his Mooneyes Chevrolet. It was his second crash of
the race after needing a provisional to get into the field.
TIMES LEADER/BOB ESPOSITO
Shane Hall, No. 85, is turned backwards coming out of turn five and is
narrowly missed by Dennis Seitzer, No. 38, in Sunday's CoreStates/Meridian
Advantage 200 Busch Series Race at the Nazareth Speedway.